For many years some school boards in Illinois, especially in suburban Chicago, routinely handed out the “two 20s.” What was that? As public school teachers and administrators neared retirement age, they received two back-to-back 20% pay hikes as a way to boost their pensions.
Not all districts were as generous. But the practice of eye-popping end-of-career pay hikes became the norm. Because pensions are based on an educator’s four highest years of pay, school boards would reward their retiring teachers and administrators on the way out the door, passing those now-higher pension costs onto the state.